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Konica Minolta Introduces First Inkjet Printhead Providing Tiny Drop Size and High Accuracy for Printed Electronics


High-accuracy printhead with the first use of MEMS technology at Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta IJ Technologies,Inc. announced announce that it has successfully developed a high-accuracy inkjet head capable of 1-picoliter drop size, the first for printed electronics applications by utilizing Konica Minolta's proprietary MEMS technologies for the first time. Sale of the new inkjet printhead in sample quantities is expected to start this spring.

The newly developed inkjet printhead “KM128SNG-MB” is a next-generation inkjet printhead manufactured with silicon MEMS technologies that utilizes semiconductor process technologies. Through MEMS technologies, Konica Minolta succeeded in developing highly accurate printhead construction (38mm width, in one row, 128 nozzles) capable of discharging in micro drop size. The company's proprietary technologies in ink flow path design and high-precision assembly processes have achieved layout of tiny-size droplet highly precisely and stably.

Furthermore, the new inkjet printhead is highly resistant to various inks required for industrial applications and suitable to use with low-viscosity inks. Utilization of MEMS technologies has helped integration of nozzles and resulted in benefits such as compact inkjet printhead. In line with requests from the market in the future, further integration of nozzles will be an area of enhancement for time to come.

Specific applications for the newly developed inkjet printhead will include, among others, OLED (organic light emitting diode) display patterning, OLED lighting thin-layer coating, and new manufacturing technologies for high-value-added displays for smartphones and similar devices that require high accuracy.

Printed electronics market, including next-generation flexible displays, is expected to grow to approximately two trillion yen in 2020, accordign to Konica Minolta, where utilization of the newly developed inkjet printhead is highly expected. Konica Minolta is a founding member of Japan Advanced Printed Electronics Technology Research Association (JAPERA) that was formed in 2011. Through its innovative inkjet technologies for industrial use, Konica Minolta has been contributing to the research and development activities for next-generation printed electronics technologies with even more energy-saving, resource-saving and highly productive features in the near future.

Under its communication message “Giving Shape to Ideas,” Konica Minolta has been developing and manufacturing inkjet products, such as inkjet printhead, textile printers and high-value-added inks, with superb performance and enhanced values for industrial applications, by utilizing its proprietary precision processing technologies and material technologies that underlie its products' advantages in saving energy and resources. With the newly developed inkjet printhead, the company will continue to contribute to further expansion of applications with industrial-use inkjet technologies and growth of the market.

Major features of the newly designed KM128SNG-MB printhead include:
• Utilizes silicon MEMS technology used in semiconductor processing.
• First printhead for printed electronics applications to achieve a 1 picoliter drop size.
• High accuracy printhead structure = 38 mm wide, 128 nozzles in one row.
• Stable, highly accurate operation with accuracy drive control on a per nozzle basis.
• High ink resistance and optimization for low viscosity inks for industrial applications.
• Provides highly uniform thin layer coating (at the 100 nm level).
• Perfect for displays manufacturing technology, such as for OLED
• Proprietary DPN( Drive Per Nozzle ) drive board and evaluation equipment available.